Announcing the Winners of the Purina Pet Care Innovation Award Program

Five American pet care startups participated in the Global Pet Expo to win $10,000 and support from Purina.

FluentPet, a San Diego-based startup, has been named the 2022 Purina Pet Care Innovation Awards Program, winning $10,000 in prize money and support from Purina. The company created the FluentPet HexTile System, a combination of recordable sound buttons and HexTiles connections that allow dogs, cats and other animals to express themselves and help humans understand them.1

According to the release, the system uses cognitive science combined with academic research to simplify communication, learning and teaching for pets and owners.

“We are very grateful to be the winner of this year’s Grand Prix, an award we have been working on for several years now. We are thrilled with the awareness this award brings to the incredible potential of the dogs and cats we live. with. Thank you Purina,” Leo Trottier, PhD, MS, Founder and CEO of FluentPet, said in the statement.1

In January, a panel of industry experts, investors and executives from Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division selected 5 finalists, including FluentPet. The other 4 finalists received $10,000 and were invited to participate in an accelerator experience boot camp at Purina headquarters.1 Through this boot camp, finalists meet with industry leaders, veterinarians, pet experts, and more to network and strengthen their business plans.

According to the press release, the other winners were1:

  • Pet Light Planet: A 100% plant-based dog treat company with products that taste and smell like real meat made from sustainable, all-natural ingredients.
  • Paway: A dog social network where members can create a profile to meet local dog parents, find dog-friendly places, and even track their pet’s health status. With a premium subscription, pet care professionals can use it to manage, grow, and promote their business.
  • QSM diagnosis: Using patented technology, this company enables veterinarians to diagnose and monitor bacterial infections in dogs and cats using disposable sensors for point-of-care infection detection and monitoring. No software is required and results are available within 2 minutes of sample collection.
  • uPetsia: To combat dog bad breath, uPetsia has modified natural canine oral bacteria to produce minty flavors. The bacteria can be incorporated into treats and food, given to the dog, and the mint will breathe for several hours.

“We are very impressed with FluentPet and the entire Class of 2022 for the passion and innovation they bring to the pet care industry,” said Bill Broun, CFA, co-head of 9 Square Division. Purina Ventures and Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions. at Purina.

“Programs like the Pet Care Innovation Prize allow us to spend time with talented startups and support their growth while working together to shape the future of pet care,” he continued.


FluentPet wins the 2022 Grand Prize in the Purina Pet Care Innovation Awards Program. Press release. Nestle Purina PetCare. March 25, 2022. Accessed March 29, 2022. html

Marie R. McCraw